When we acquired this space we pondered countless names for a coffee shop, but nothing stuck. So we researched its roots. Sure, Coeur d'Alene has its share of old buildings. Most towns do. But what's so special about this one?
Built in 1904 by William Dollar, 324 Sherman Avenue was home to the EXCHANGE NATIONAL BANK of Coeur d'Alene until 1929. Mr. Dollar was the bank's president. Now that stuck. Could there be a more fitting name for a banker? They even printed money here for 25 years; nearly $1 million worth. Impressive.
We perused old photos at the Museum of North Idaho. We saw bank tellers behind cage windows serving Charlie Chaplin look-alikes, each sporting pencil mustaches and bowler hats. Pocket watches dangled from their vests. Intriguing.
As we wandered into the basement, we were taken aback. Tenants have changed, times have most certainly changed, yet for more than 100 years that massive hunk of steel has remained. Its dusty combination dial, now worn from the hands of generations before ours, had a story to tell. Quite simply, we felt that vault is the soul of this building and should be our name.
If you're not as into the history as we are, we're ok with that. We just hope you'll love the coffee. Because, while that old gal downstairs has housed a lot of treasure, the most valuable assets within these walls will always be our customers.